Israeli airline Israir has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-500 regional turboprop airliner, from a total order for two.
The ATR 72-500, equipped with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engines, is configured to transport 72 passengers. Israir will use the aircraft to enhance its domestic network, adding to its current fleet of three ATR 42-320s and two Airbus A320s. The second ATR 72-500 is scheduled for delivery at the end of July.
According to ATR, the two ATR 72-500s will allow the airline to increase its capacity and service frequency on its main route from Tel Aviv Sde Dov ( City Airport ) to the seaside resort of Eilat on the Gulf of Eilat (also known as the Gulf of Aquaba, for the nearby town of Aquaba in Jordan), part of the Red Sea
With its ATR 72-500s, Israir will also be able to increase the number of charter flights it operates to other Mediterranean tourist destinations. Israir is part of IDB Tourism Group, the tourism activities branch of the Israeli holding company IDB Holdings.
“The entry into service of our new ATR 72-500 aircraft marks a new development phase for Israir and IDB Tourism,” says David Kaminitz, chairman of Israir. “With these new aircraft, we will be able to offer a greater quality of service to our passengers, providing them with more choice and improved comfort. In addition, these 72-seat planes will enable us to reduce operating costs per seat.”
Manufactured by Franco-Italian group ATR, the ATR 72-500 offers a passenger capacity of 68 to 74 seats. each of its two PW127M turboprop engines provides maximum takeoff power of 2,750 shaft horsepower. The maximum take-off weight of the ATR 72-500 is 22,800 kilograms (50,265lb) and its maximum payload is 7,000kg (15,432lb). The aircraft’s maximum IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) range with full passenger load is 824 nautical miles (1,526 kilometers).
Israir was established in 1992 as a domestic airline in Israel operating short-haul services and started offering flights from Tel Aviv and Haifa to Eilat. Since 1999, the airline has expanded its activity to include international destinations, mainly in Europe.
The airline’s current fleet comprises two A320s, one ATR 72-500 and three ATR 42-320s, while an additional ATR 72-500 will integrate its fleet at the end of July 2011.
In 2006, Israir expanded its activities, branching into the tour-operator services market. In 2009, control over Israir was transferred to IDB Tourism Group, one of the leading tourism groups in Israel.
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